Franklin Street Temporary Lights

The partial collapse of Franklin Street (which I still need to take pictures of) has left a chunk of road near Putnam Lane with only one lane open.  There are temporary traffic lights set up, though they are a little less temporary than we’d like:

14 thoughts on “Franklin Street Temporary Lights

  1. Sprout says:

    Why did the road collapse? Anything to do with all the trees getting cut down?

    • Nicole says:

      It’s unclear. On June 29, the Telegram reported:
      “One lane of Franklin Street that runs through the CSX train yard currently under construction was temporarily closed yesterday after a crack about 30 feet long formed in the road.

      “The crack was as wide as 6 inches in some areas.

      “Worcester police closed the road near 516 Franklin St. about 2 p.m. after the crack formed, and the edge of the road began caving in.”

  2. Tracy Novick says:

    If you take the train out of Union Station, it sure does LOOK like it’s because they cut down the trees. The hill has moved.

    • Nicole says:

      That would be my guess as well. If you’re in the parking lot of In House Coffee, it looks completely scary. I’ve got to stop there some morning and take pictures from that perspective.

  3. Joe says:

    This is a much bigger problem than the closing of Putnam Lane- I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more press.

    I’ve been avoiding it because of the construction and now the lights, but this used to be the quick route home from the downtown library for me. I’ll have to go through to take a look at the cracks.

    It’s always been a really steep hillside, and heavily wooded/vegetated. They did add some sheet piling and a new guardrail and sidewalk near Putnam Lane a few years ago- so I doubt that area is the problem.

    I also doubt that just cutting down the trees would destabilize the slope. Removing the roots (which I’m sure they’re also doing) would be the real issue. When I last saw it (the end of June) it looked like they were regrading (cutting back) the slope in the area behind Morris Radiator- like they were trying to get more space at the bottom.

    If you look at pages 10-11 of the linked document.

    And then look at Google Maps area view of the current site.

    It doesn’t look like they are that much closer to Franklin Street down near Morris, but in the flatter area coming up to Putnam Street, it appears they are getting closer.

    Of course, those are just schematics and not real site plans with grades and contours- which must be on file downtown, as they were approved by the planning board. The “access road” shown in the schematics that parallels Franklin may be higher than the tracks to reduce the slope, there may be other things- but I bet that nearly the entire length of Franklin between Putnam Lane and Morris Radiator will require some kind of retaining mechanism- whether it is a traditional poured retaining wall (difficult to construct with the road right there) or more sheet piling, or maybe some kind of soil nailing or tiebacks with a poured wall, and maybe just a segmental (stacked) wall as it gets closer to the low end…

    I’m surprised the retaining walls didn’t get more scrutiny at the planning board meeting.

    One person only questions what the heights will be. What the provisions for constructing a 40-foot retaining wall next to an active roadway would have been good to know before they started.

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you for showing that the comments tend to be better than the content I put up.

      I’ll try to get out this evening and take pictures of the hill.

      Also, I’d like to note that there is one seat open on the Planning Board! 🙂

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks for fixing my links. Unless I’m mistaken, The planning board seat is not D2- I already asked.

    I wouldn’t say that my post is any better- I’m just theorizing.
    By the way- what did you mean when you said the lights “are a little less temporary than we’d like.”

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